Pediatrician - New Port Richey
2044 Trinity Oaks Boulevard Suite 235
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 375-5437

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Posts for category: Dr Hasell

By Douglass Hasell, MD
March 26, 2020
Category: Dr Hasell
Tags: Covid 19   Coronavirus  

Things seem to be getting a little crazy with this Coronavirus pandemic.  People are not getting accurate or consistent information and are starting to get confused and scared.  A few things seem clear to me regarding our current situation.  The first is that there are way more Coronavirus cases in the U.S. than have been identified thru the limited testing that has been done so far.  The second is that, because of the lack of testing availability, even as I write this, the spread of Coronavirus in the U.S. has not been contained and is most likely going to be very widespread within the next few weeks.  The current public health strategy being discussed is no longer about containment but about being able to decrease the rate of increase of new cases so our health care system does not get overwhelmed and run out of ICU beds or ventilators for the sickest patients.

The reassuring part of this for our patients is that children do not seem to be under very high risk of getting seriously ill if they get this virus.  This may not be the case however for some of our patients with underlying medical conditions.  It is these patients that need to be monitored and those caring for them to be vigilant in handwashing and social distancing to protect them.

            People need to begin changing their behavior as of today.  Keep your social distance of 3 ft. away.  Greet people with a bow or fist bump and educate them why you are doing this.  Don’t touch your face.  Wash your hands every chance you get.  Avoid public gatherings, crowded spaces and unnecessary travel.  And most importantly, Do Not Panic.  Children need to feel a sense of calm by those who care for them during stressful times to help them feel reassured. 

            If you have questions about whether your child needs to be seen or not please call our office at 727-375-5437.  We are triaging patients accordingly by phone.  I would suggest thinking of this as a Flu epidemic in terms of responding to your child’s symptoms and need to be seen.  At his point it is still not easy to test patients, but this will hopefully change soon.  This is a time for calm and rational thinking.  Let’s all stay positive and help each other get thru this together.

by Douglass Hasell, MD

By Douglass Hasell, MD
June 26, 2016
Category: Dr Hasell
Tags: Health   Nature  

Did you know that some Pediatricians are writing prescriptions for their patients to be taken to a park or other green space for an hour a day? This has shown to be beneficial for many childhood emotional and behavioral issues as well as attention and sleep problems. 

More studies are coming out every day decrying the change in children’s lifestyles that has resulted in them spending more and more time inside, usually interacting with electronic devices, and less and less time outside interacting with nature. Evidence is starting to accumulate on the adverse effect this has on children: increasing rates of childhood obesity, ADHD, Anxiety and Depression to name just a few. All of these plus many more indicators of health and well-being are found to be directly linked to lack of time outside in nature. In fact even studies in adults find that the closer someone lives to green space the healthier they are on average. 

Many parents do not appreciate this fact even though they are very attentive to every other need of their child. “Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration.” (Ginsburg et al, 2007). Nature has been found to have a soothing effect on the brain. Outside in a green space there is a natural order of things. I believe when people can attune themselves to this it is beneficial in helping them to relax and to reduce stress which has been found to be a factor in so many diseases. When children play in the sand at the beach or in the dirt at the park or climb trees they are connecting with their natural environment and recognizing how they fit in the natural world.

I believe we should be very weary when the time our children spend in the virtual world on electronics is greater than that spent in the natural world. So take a prescription for your child from me and try to spend as much time as possible interacting or relaxing in nature with them. It will benefit you as much as them.

Gabrielle Renee Photography

By Dr. Douglass Hasell
February 10, 2016
Category: Dr Hasell

Most doctors take the Hippocratic oath when they complete medical school.  They know one of the main principles is “First do no harm”.  While in part this may seem obvious: doctors should not harm their patients by performing unnecessary procedures or prescribing unproven medications that may harm them.  In reality this concept of doing no harm, which is never far from my consciousness when making medical decisions, runs much deeper.  It is a concept most doctors adhere to and use to guide their ethics when making difficult decisions regarding their patients.

In pediatrics limiting the pain and suffering in our patients is of the utmost importance.  Protecting their lives is the number one priority however.  Therefore I don’t think many of us find it difficult to order shots or perform painful procedures or subject our patients and their parents to stressful and sometimes expensive tests if it may be life saving for them.

The decisions become more difficult in the middle ground when the severity of the problem may not be as clear and in these cases we must take into account all of the variables of pain and suffering to the patient weighed against the possibility of missing a serious diagnosis if nothing is done.  These variables include not only physical pain to the patient but undue family stress being caused from the anxiety of going thru an evaluation to the financial hardship that can be caused by expensive tests.  These factors must be weighed against the severity of the possible medical diagnosis and the likelihood of it progressing and causing serious irreversible consequences in our patients.

Some things can be followed and don’t need a definitive answer or treatment right away.  Pediatricians tell parents that the treatment is “watchful waiting” for these problems which may go away on their own.  Other concerns may require some testing or referral to further evaluate the problem and determine if treatment is in the best interest of the child.  I know that in some instances some parents may feel frustrated at times that “nothing was done” for a certain condition but it may be the case that the reason had to do with the way in which we apply the principles discussed above in caring for our patient’s.  In these cases it may be informative to ask your child’s doctor how they made a particular decision and what they were thinking.

As Pediatricians we are always thinking of these things when we make decisions regarding your child.  When you call after hours we must take into account all of the above factors when advising you to go to an after hours facility, local Hospital ER, a Children’s Hospital ER or calling our office first thing in the morning to see us the next day.  We have seen children who have undergone unnecessary procedures and sometimes even hospitalizations, which may have been prevented if we had been able to evaluate the child in the office or sent them to a facility that only cares for children.  We have the advantage of knowing your child and their medical history as well as the judgment and experience of many years of only treating children.  Local ERs are a godsend and save lives but they are not always the best place to evaluate your child. 

We are on call for your child 24/7.  In the middle of the night you may talk to a Pediatric nurse from All Children’s Hospital first, or on certain weekends it may be another Pediatrician sharing call with us, but there is always someone to give you expert advice on what you should do if you are worried about your child and if they need to be seen.  Please call us first at any time if you are considering taking your child in for emergency care.  Believe me, we never mind taking an after hours call to make sure your child gets the most appropriate evaluation for whatever medical problem you are concerned about.

By Dr. Doug Hasell

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2044 Trinity Oaks Boulevard, Suite 235
New Port Richey, FL 34655